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who says the nome dates from the time of Sesostris, gives their number as thirty-six (I, 54), Pliny, who calls them praefecturas oppidorum (V, 9, 9), gives their number as forty-five, and some writers enumerate forty-seven. The Greeks divided Egypt into three parts-Upper, Central and Lower. Central Egypt appears to have been the district between the Thebaïd and the Delta. It was called Heptanomis, and its seven nomes were Memphites, Herakleopolites, Crocodilopolites, Aphroditopolites, Oxyrhynchites, Cynopolites and Hermopolites. The Great and the Lesser Oases were considered to be parts of Heptanomis. For the Egyptian lists of nomes see Brugsch, Dict. Géog., p. 1358 ff., and Rochemonteix, Mémoires Miss. Française, tom. X, p. 329 ff.; also see Ptolemy, Geographia, IV, 5, ed. Mercator, pp. 105-108. Modern Egypt is divided into fourteen Provinces, of which eight are in Upper and six are in Lower Egypt. Each has its own capital, which is generally situated on or quite near to the ancient capital of one of the great nomes of Ancient Egypt. Each Province is divided into districts, some of which represent the smaller nomes of Pharaonic times.
It has been well said that the Nile is Egypt, and Egypt is the Nile. The Nile is the maker of Egypt, for it and its two great tributaries, the Blue Nile and the Atbarâ, have brought down the life-giving mud from Abyssinia and the Eastern Sûdân that is now the soil
of Egypt. The Egyptians called the Nile Hep, &, or Ḥāp,
the original form of the name is Ḥepr, &
meaning, some would connect it with the root ḥāp, “to hide," and would regard Ḥep or Ḥapi as the "hidden river," but this is improbable, and the true derivation of the name is unknown. It is doubtful if the early dynastic Egyptians knew the source of the river or the real cause of the annual Inundation. Under the XIIth dynasty the existence of the Atbarâ and the Blue Nile was probably known to them, and it is possible that they may have heard of Lake Şânâ in Abyssinia and of one or two of the great Lakes in Central Africa, but the course of the White Nile must have been unknown to them. Some assume that the men of the caravans which brought copper from the copper-producing district of Tanganyika may have passed on to the Nubians information about the great Lakes that filtered down into Egypt, and this is quite possible. The origin of the Greek and Roman name Neiλos, Nilus, is, like that of the Egyptian name, unknown. The Arabs reproduce the name under the form An-Nili. Some connect "Nile” with the Hebrew and others with Nil, the plant from which indigo is derived. The god of the Nile was called Ḥāpi, and he was said to be self-begotten and to be the father of all the gods who lived in the Great World-Ocean which surrounded the world; and like other great gods, Rā, Amen, Kheperȧ, etc., he was called "One." The Nile, which watered Egypt and formed the chief source of life of the whole country, was at one period believed to come direct from the World-Ocean, and to enter Egypt through a cavity which lay between two rocks on or near the Island of Elephantine. Herodotus calls the mountains Krôphi and Môphi, which names probably represent the Egyptian words "Qer-Hapi" and Mu-Ḥāpi." Though in the famous Hymn to Ḥāpi in Sallier Papyrus II (Brit. Mus. No. 10182) it is said that figures of the god cannot be sculptured in stone, and that images of him do not exist, we find that drawings of him are given on papyri, and that there are sculptured figures
1 Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. 47, p. 163 ff.